HNN Staff
Manchin's Man?
Manchin's Man?

We seem to recall that longtime West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts was in the running for the position of Chief of Staff for Joe Manchin's new U.S. Senate office not long ago.  While Roberts stayed with the Chamber, some are wondering out loud if he is essentially working for Manchin right now--but on the Chamber's payroll.

Case in point: passersby in Charleston can easily notice that Earl Ray Tomblin's campaign signage is still displayed prominently on the Chamber's property, while Bill Maloney's is nowhere to be seen. Maloney, Tomblin, and Betty Ireland were all endorsed by the State Chamber back on April 6th, prompting some to ask why Maloney would be shortchanged now, just days after the election.

After all, the Chamber has not had the opportunity to meet yet to discuss the general election endorsement between Maloney and Tomblin. That won't come for several weeks.  So why the obvious bias with the signage for Tomblin and Tomblin alone outside the Chamber's offices in Charleston?

Who knows, but we all do know that Steve Roberts, the Chamber's President, is about as close to Joe Manchin as a human being can possibly get.  Roberts has a tone deaf ear to politics if he can't see how it looks to even appear to have clear, open bias in favor of Tomblin, who is clearly Manchin's favorite candidate.  Manchin needs Tomblin to stay put in the Governor's office to keep all the bones buried from the Manchin Administration.  We all know that.

Tomblin has many advantages going into this race.  But we're not sure having Steve Roberts' friendship is one of them. Roberts has a way of looking a wee bit obvious in his personal agenda when he's supposed to be helping anyone--in both parties--who wants to advance the private sector in West Virginia.

We expect to see either no signs up in the Chamber's yard or both Tomblin's and Maloney's up together--soon.